Apple says it delivered more than a half-million iPads during the tablet PC's first week of general release, and so will be delaying the iPad's international launch. And after the first five days of the mobile device's release, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said about 600,000 iBooks and 3.5 million apps had been downloaded by iPad users. Analysts predict that the iPad could sell as many as 7.1 million units in 2010.
Apple said April 14 that it had delivered more than 500,000 iPads during the
tablet PC's first week of general release, exceeding the company's internal
predictions. The demand reflected by those sales, coupled with "a large
number of preorders for iPad 3G models for delivery by the end of April,"
has led to a postponement in the iPad's international launch.
"We know that many international customers waiting to buy an iPad will
be disappointed by this news," read a
statement posted on Apple's Website, "but we hope they will be pleased
to learn the reason-the iPad is a runaway success in the United
States thus far."
Apple had previously announced, during an April 8 news conference at the
company's Cupertino, Calif.,
headquarters, that about 450,000
iPads were sold in the first five days. During that conference, Apple CEO
Steve Jobs also said about 600,000 iBooks and 3.5 million applications had been
downloaded by new iPad owners. Those 450,000 iPads included the 300,000 units
sold by midnight on April 3, the
device's first day of general release.
According to a March 29 research note from Morgan Stanley, Apple could ship
as many as 8 million to 10 million iPads in 2010, and sell around 2 million of
those. "Near-term, we believe the iPad will target the sizable sub-$800
consumer notebook market, which equates to 30 million units in the United
States and 120 million units globally," analyst Katy Huberty wrote. A
robust application ecosystem, paired with strong interest in TV shows and
e-books offered specifically for the iPad, could potentially increase the
device's sales momentum.
Research company iSuppli has also suggested that Apple could sell as many as
7.1 million iPads in 2010.
Blogger and analyst Daniel Tello, in conjunction with members of
InvestorVillage's AAPL Sanity forum,
calculated in early March that Apple might have sold 120,000 iPads during the
device's first day of preorder availability, March 12, and that 69 percent of
preorder customers were gravitating toward the WiFi-only version of the device.
will face a wide variety of tablet PC competitors later in the year,
including a device by Hewlett-Packard that features a combination of
inward-facing VGA Webcam and outward-facing 3-megapixel camera for video
conferencing and image-taking. The HP Slate will retail for between $549 and
$599, and will run Windows 7. Similar devices, including a much-rumored Google
Android tablet, may also try to make a competitive differentiator out of
featuring a camera module, which is not included in the current version of the
The iPad may also run the risk of breakability. In an April 9 e-mail to
eWEEK, Aaron Vronko, co-founder and service manager of Michigan-based Rapid
Repair, predicted that 5 to 10 percent of the devices would fail due to
"accident-related causes" each year.
"Physics are not in the tablet's favor," Vronko wrote. "While
the fragile parts of the iPad are no less durable than their iPhone
counterparts, a 10-inch and 24-ounce device is just a much bigger target for
accidental collisions and generates many times more force in a fall."
Competing device manufacturers, however, do not have access to the voluminous
life-cycle data from the iPhone and iPod Touch that Apple could use to make the
iPad more durable.
Nicholas Kolakowski is a staff editor at eWEEK, covering Microsoft and other companies in the enterprise space, as well as evolving technology such as tablet PCs. His work has appeared in The Washington Post, Playboy, WebMD, AARP the Magazine, AutoWeek, Washington City Paper, Trader Monthly, and Private Air. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.